The “Atheism is Stupid” thread got closed before I had a chance to respond, but the late Pam Reynold’s NDE was mentioned. Here she is in a BBC interview:
Easily Googgled, of course. Now, the atheist/skeptic is going to come along and say that Pam’s experience was “in her head” (even though she was in a state of “brain death” during her NDE), that she was lying (even though she received no publicity, money, etc.), or something else. Or, they will point to alien abductions, OOBEs under the influence of drugs, etc., as “proof” that Pam’s experience was completely natural.
Of course, Pam was not the only one, but why should we believe her experience to be authentic? Well, for one, her testimony and countless others testify to the fact that the conscious self persists independently of the material brain, something which dualism, of course, predicts to be the case.
But it isn’t “scientific,” says the skeptic! And, I would reply, “So what?” If I receive a call on my cell phone from an anonymous stranger who begins singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm,” how could I ever prove such an event, in fact, happened, especially, if I had never recorded the call? Does the fact that I cannot provide scientific evidence change the reality of the experience? Either the call happened or it did not; either the person sang the song or he/she did not. Either I am lying or I am telling the truth, assuming, of course, that my mental faculties are intact.
“Aha!” the skeptic will say, “Pam Reynold’s brain was not functioning, therefore, we cannot trust anything which she claimed.” However, such presupposes that one’s conscious self has its genesis completely within the brain, and not the immaterial, immortal soul and spirit.
Now, the skeptic will say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” Says who? The late Carl Sagan, who borrowed the phrase? If a claim is “good enough,” why not accept it as being representative of a higher reality?
So, “is the glass half-full or half-empty?” By the “Dawkins’ scale,” I am a 1.5 on there being life-after-death. Am I absolutely convinced? No, I am not, but does such even matter? If something has its own objective existence, then it exists. Believing that it does not exist will not cause it “not to exist,” if, in fact, it exists. The converse is true for those things that do not exist.
I believe that Pam Reynolds experienced the conscious separation of her mind from her body, and in particular, her physical brain, and I don’t think that I am a “faith head” (to quote Dawkins) for holding to this POV.